2 coaches of Chivas USA allege team fired them for not being Latino
The emblem of the Los Angeles area-based Chivas soccer team is pictured above.
May 30th, 2013
09:15 AM ET

2 coaches of Chivas USA allege team fired them for not being Latino

By Michael Martinez and Jaqueline Hurtado, CNN

Los Angeles (CNN) - Two former coaches have sued Major League Soccer team Chivas USA, claiming they were fired this year because they are not Latino.

Daniel Calichman and Theothoros Chronopoulos, who worked in the team's "academy," or player development, program, accused team owner Jorge Vergara Madrigal of Mexico of enacting a Latino-only employment policy, according to a lawsuit filed in a Los Angeles County court.

Calichman and Chronopoulos, who are both white, also accused Vergara of implementing a discriminatory practice that was carried over from Chivas de Guadalajara, a pro team in Mexico owned by Vergara that allegedly has hired only Mexican soccer players since 1908.

The two men, both former pros and members of the U.S. national team, are seeking unspecified damages for discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination, their attorneys said in a statement Wednesday.

The team fired the two coaches "as part of an ethnocentric policy and practice of discriminating against and terminating non-Mexican and non-Latino employees," the suit alleged.

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. eye-roll

    They are dealing with it; hence the lawsuit.

    June 14, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. I belong to no party

    go figure if a white person is discriminated against is now big deal the media will not cover this in a detail. But it happens more and more everyday but were not allowed to say anything. On the other hand if someone else is discriminated against the media makes a big deal out of it. and want to fry the company that did it. Thats why the EEOC has only ligated only 5 reverse discrimination cases go figure that to.

    June 14, 2013 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  3. shootmyownfood

    Many national-level soccer teams have a diverse group of international players. To have ALL your players from one country is pretty unusual.

    June 5, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mychelle

    There's more to this story than what is included above. I want to hear more details on the harassment and retaliation they mention as part of their suit. Obviously there are details and examples of behaviour by the owner that flesh out their allegations.

    June 4, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mr. Futbol

    The US national soccer team has as a coach Jurgen Klinsman, a German, why? ... Because there's no enough american soccer coaches capable of making a team succesful.

    June 3, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marco

      That is not the point!!! They might be better than the new Chivas Mexican Coach but will never get the oportunity because they are not Mexican we all know Mr Vergara ( the team owner) wanted a Mexican players only team.

      June 15, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. El Gambetas

    I disagree with the coaches that were fired; they must ignore that Chivas has a long history of bringing brilliant European and Argentinan coaches to take command of the team; the latest one was John Van't Schip the son in law of Johann Cruyff; they also had Hans Westerhoff, Leo Benhakker and do not forget Cesar Luis Menotti; who were fired, not for being white, but for not having positive numbers... Vergara also is credited with bringing European coach Svan Goran Erickson to the Mexican national team, because Vergara in the board of directors and has too much influence to decide who to bring and who not to... The owners have the right to fire whoever they want, and not for being white of black but because of numbers on the table; let those coaches show their numbers; besides, it's well know that every coach when taking over the command of any team, he brings his own coaching team and assistants.

    June 3, 2013 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Chilliday

      This is his Team USA, but he doesn't want coaches from the country his team is supposed to be representing? If that means he loses sometimes, and he can't handle that, then sell the team to someone who understands sportsmanship. This man is a bigot and a baby. I hope he loses his shirt to the two coaches from the USA who are rightly suing him.

      June 24, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Glauber

    The dude's a billionaire who clawed his way to the top by selling the snake oil known as herballife. He also sold time shares. Nothing noble in either of those pursuits, but they made him fantastically wealthy. This will unfortunately be a very small distraction for him and nothing will come of it.

    June 2, 2013 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  8. luvlar

    You mean there's someone out there who actually wants to hang around with Latinos? Go Figure.

    May 31, 2013 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Big Shiz

      It would be a bigger stretch if someone actually wanted to hang around you.

      May 31, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. eric

    IF you are a private group you should be able to hire/fire anyone you want.
    IF you receive or use a public facility(funds) like a stadium paid for by taxpayers then you need to follow the laws.
    I believe freedom to associate is still in the 1st Amendment.

    May 31, 2013 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Anon

      All companies must follow the law regardless of where their funding comes from. Your post rings of racism, no company should be able to hire or fire based on race, gender, age, etc. People should be hired or fired based in their ability to do the job. That is a founding principle of this country.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • amac

        I agree with you, but that's not really a "Founding principle" considering when this country was founded no matter how good or bad you worked, they were not going to be let go if you were black....

        June 6, 2013 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  10. Big Shiz

    There you go,without affirmative action they could not sue for discrimination. It should always be illegal to not hire or fire people because of race or culture.

    May 30, 2013 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • m12

      That is not true.

      May 30, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Affirmative action would be asking to get hired because they're white and not suited for the job otherwise. Firing someone for being white is a separate issue.

      June 1, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Glauber

      Affirmative action is different. Its goal is to guarantee that underrepresented minorities have a chance in the labor pool. It's about numbers, while this story is about people being fired for their ethnicity and/or language background.

      June 2, 2013 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |